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History of Poznań

Poznań, the capital of the region of Wielkopolska (Great Poland) and capital of the province, is a great administrative, scientific, cultural, industrial, trade and service centre that influences more than one region. Poznań is situated in the centre of the Lowland of Wielkopolska, 52-154 m above the sea level, in an undulating terrain moulded by the Scandinavian glacier. Poznań has a population of approx.  550 thousand people (2012) and the area of 64,571 acres, including approx. 12,355 acres of woods and parks and 1380 acres of lakes and rivers. The city is located on the Warta river and its small tributaries i.e. the Cybina and Główna rivers. Poznań is situated 300 km from Warsaw (the capital of Poland), 170 km from the western border, 270 km from Berlin,  220 km from the Baltic Sea (Kołobrzeg) and 390 km away from Cracow. The history of man in the territory of today's Poznań goes back to the middle part of the Palaeolithic era (20,000 – 10,000 BC). In the 9th century the ruler of these lands built a fortified castle in Ostrów Tumski (the Cathedral Island). In the 10th century Poznań became the capital of the country ruled by Mieszko I and the seat of bishopric (Poland was christianised in 966). In the early 13th century Poznań was converted from a fortified castle and the seat of the prince into a city - an important trade centre. In the end of the 15th century the city became a great centre of European trade.Trade and craft were the basis of the affluence of the city and its dwellers. In the 19th century Poznań was under Prussian rule. At the same time the activity of Polish cultural, industrial and religions organisations developed. Poznań became the main centre of patriotic activity in the Prussian sector of partitioned Poland. The 20th century marks the period of substantial expansion of the city. However, in February 1945, as a result of warfare, 55% of the city buildings were destroyed. A relatively short period of reconstruction was followed by wide-ranging development of Poznań.
Green areas take up a substantial part of the city. Public parks and woods account for approx. 20% of the area of Poznań. The city has around 40 parks covering the area of over 2500 acres with 270 square feet per each resident – making it the highest proportion in large cities in Poland. There are four large lakes in Poznań, two natural ones, Kierskie and Strzeszyńskie, and two man-made lakes, Rusałka and Malta, with many holiday centres and bathing beaches.

Poznań - a cultural centre
    
As far as culture is concerned, musical events are the most eminent forms of cultural activities in Poznań. The International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition, held every 4 years, has gained world-wide importance. Poznań is also famous in the world for its choirs: Boys' and Men's Choir of Poznań Philharmonic Poznańskie Słowiki ("Poznań Nightingales"), Poznań Boys' Choir and the Cathedral Choir. The Opera House – one of the leading opera theatres in the country, the Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra are well known to the public. There are three dramatic theatres, a musical theatre, animation theatre as well as 64 art galleries, 12 cinemas and 21 public and scientific libraries. The festival of contemporary music Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna (Poznań Musical Spring) is held every year. The Museum of Musical Instruments, which is unique in Poland and only the second in Europe, has been organising concerts of early music as well as the Festival of Celtic Music. Moreover, every year the MALTA International Theatre Festival takes place. One can also listen to some jazz music - Poznań Jazz Fair is a meeting of the greatest celebrities of Polish and world jazz.
 
Poznań - an industrial centre

Poznań is a significant industrial centre; about 2.5% of global industrial output of the country is produced in this city. About 80,000 people are employed in the industry, which is over 30% of all the people employed in Poznań. Major industries include metal industry, automotive industry, electrotechnical engineering industry and chemical industry.

Poznań - a trade centre
    
Poznań is a great centre of domestic and international trade. Every year the Poznań International Fair is visited by producers, tradesmen and journalists from all over the world. There are international exhibitions, exchanges and trade fairs in the grounds of the Poznań International Fair every spring and autumn.

Poznań - a scientific centre
    
Poznań is one of the largest scientific centres in Poland with 7.5% of the total number of independent research workers. It has the third largest number of research institutions in Poland, after Warsaw and Cracow.
Poznań is an important academic centre in Poland with eight state higher education institutions, including five universities, and twenty non-public higher education institutions (2012), including:
•    Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza (Adam Mickiewicz University)
•    Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Karola Marcinkowskiego (Poznań University of Medical Sciences)
•    Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy (Poznań University of Life Sciences)
•    Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny (Poznań University of Economics)
•    Uniwersytet Artystyczny (University of Arts)
•    Politechnika Poznańska (Poznań University of Technology)
•    Akademia Muzyczna im. Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego (Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music)
•    Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego im. Eugeniusza Piaseckiego (Eugeniusz Piasecki University School of Physical
      Education)
In 2012 there were 135 thousand students in Poznań.